lessons from the fauna around my neighborhood

 But in every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks. – John Muir, July 1877

Fall walks around my Chicago neighborhood are full of chattering, scurrying, dining, darting, munching and very busy fauna in the Parks and Preserves. No doubt the crisp air is invigorating all beings.

As I watch the brown sparrows gather on a rail, then playfully dart around the park swooping onto tree branches, deftly swerving in and out of chain link fences, all the while maintaining some sort of formation, I’m reminded of the importance of “play” especially with friends.

The squirrel is so focused on “bulking up” for the Winter that he doesn’t even budge when I walk by. Fear is trumped by the necessity of the task at hand. Hmmm…something to remember.

I come upon a deer, also unmoved by my presence. Ravenous, it gnaws with obvious preoccupation at the bark on the tree. My mind drifts and I wonder…am I  getting enough fiber in my diet?

Later on, I stop and watch the antics of some Robins, bathing in a pothole pool. I love how they dip, dive and shimmy in the puddle. They appear to be very satisfied and thorough at their community bath, washing off the dust of summer in the last of the sunny warm days. I think of the satisfaction I would feel if I washed my car – by hand, one last time in the sunshine before it gets too cold.

What a productive and captivating Fall walk!



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